TORONTO — Canadian film will be celebrated this week with some online streaming initiatives spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, the annual National Canadian Film Day will take place with a virtual edition replacing the one-day event that usually involves screening events across the country.
The day will feature a four-hour interactive livestream broadcast, including conversations with stars and filmmakers, from 6-10 p.m. EST on YouTube and canfilmday.ca.
Talent set to appear in the livestreams include Sandra Oh, Jay Baruchel, Ethan Hawke, Atom Egoyan, Colm Feore, Mina Shum, Philippe Falardeau, Patricia Rozema, Emily Hampshire, and Don McKellar.
Viewers can also watch a curated selection of Canadian films that day on CBC, CBC Gem, Encore+, Netflix, Hollywood Suite, Crave, the National Film Board of Canada and other sites.
In honour of Canadian Film Day, 24 homegrown distribution companies have also joined forces to curate a list of homegrown titles on various platfoms beginning Wednesday.
More than 40 film titles will be featured on Apple TV, Telus, Cineplex Store, Rogers, Bell, illico, Elephant — memoire d'une cinema quebecois, Google Play, YouTube, and Vimeo on-demand storefronts.
Telefilm Canada is providing support for the collaboration with financing from its National Promotional Funding.
The initiative is a combination of efforts of the Canadian Association of Film Distributors and Exporters and Regroupement des distributeurs independants de films du Quebec.
The National Canadian Film Day website — https://canadianfilmday.ca/ — has details on the lineup as well as family games and resources, and a toolkit to help organize a "Canadian film watch party."
Special programming will also be made available to more than 150 retirement residences and long-term care facilities on Wednesday, including video introductions from the filmmakers.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2020.
The Canadian Press